Malachi 2:15: "I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel..." Matthew 19:5,6: "...For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to this wife; and the twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Let us look and see what God is saying about marriage.
When marriage is looked at as two different businesses coming together to do a task, yet each "marriage partner" keeping his or her own identity, we hear terms like "me and mine" and "you and yours."
Every corporation has a business plan. In a marriage there should be a plan on which way your family is going. "Without a plan you plan to fail."
When making your plans you must remember that there should be NOTHING that comes before or between your relationship with your spouse. Children, family, friends, job, money, NOTHING. Before you make any major decision you should ask the question, "How will this affect our relationship?" Never assume that your spouse will understand. You are not a mind reader. Ask for his or her opinion or input.
The first plans made should be about the relationship of the husband and wife:
How much time will we give to ourselves?
When will we give this time?
What or who can come into our time? How often?
What names will we call each other?
What names shouldn't we call each other?
How will we handle disagreements?
How long before we make up?
How will we make up?
There are many other relational questions that must be asked and answered. You know the ones that are important to you. Don't assume that your spouse is on the same page that you are on. Ask the questions. Stay with the questions that only concern the two of you. Also talk about your needs that your spouse needs to consider, and be sure to talk about your spouse's needs that you in turn need to consider.
Guess what? Like any other bank, there are service charges and withdrawals. When there is more taken out than put in, bankruptcy sets in, just like as in any other bank. Your spouse can (will) fall out of love with you while you are still in love with them. Why? It is because you have depleted their bank by what you said or did.
In a healthy relationship both banks stay full to over-flowing. Things that we say or do deposit or withdraw from our spouse's bank. It is wise to deposit more than you withdraw.
What things do I say that make you happy?
What things do I say that make you angry, sad, or hurt you?
What things do I do that make you happy?
What things do I do that make you angry, sad, or hurt you?
Do I spend enough time with you?
Do I pay enough attention to you?
Do I give you enough space to you to do your own thing?
Do you feel appreciated?
Rules of your homework: Remember it will be just as hard for your spouse to be honest with you as it is for you to hear the truth.
1. DON'T both of you do this exercise the same day. Let there be at least two days inbetween.
2. Do this with an open mind. Don't think that your relationship cannot be helped with this exercise.
3. Be HONEST with your answers. Tell the truth and same the devil.
4. DON'T ask for things that your spouse cannot deliver.
5. Listen to what your spouse is saying and try to understand. Take notes.
6. Don't get on the defensive. Ask for forgiveness and do better.
7. Keep your voice down low. Don't get mad and fight.
8. Reassure your spouse that you love him or her, and thank your spouse for his or her openness.
We have already talked about things that withdraw from the bank, so now let us take a look at those things which we can say and do that will deposit love.
*Things you spouse looks
*His or her accomplishments or efforts
*Who he or she is to you
*I'm glad you belong to me
*Time alone at home talking, laughing, hugging, kissing without sex